Black Friday restaurantsBlack Friday, the beginning of the holiday shopping season — and the best time for retailers to turn a profit — is less than a week away. But it’s not just retail shops that should be preparing for Black Friday. Restaurants should also be thinking of ways to profit from the sales rush. Shoppers get hungry, after all; they’ll be eyeing deals for lunch alongside their other purchases. Taking advantage of the shopping frenzy can mean big business for your restaurant, especially if your location is close to a mall or other busy stores. Here are four ways you can make the most out of your business’ Black Friday traffic.

1)  Attract Black Friday Shoppers to Your Restaurant

Create a map graphic to post on your website, social networks and include in email marketing showing how close your restaurant is to popular shopping areas, malls, unique small businesses and other likely Black Friday shopping destinations along with directions on how to get to your restaurant from major shopping centers.

You can also pair with retailers and offer free advertising for their specials in exchange for them advertising yours. Have guests show receipts from partnered retailers to offer a free appetizer or a discount on their meal.

2)  Staff Awareness and Focus is Critical

Have a full staff meeting before Thanksgiving outlining your plan, stressing the importance of customer care and service, and reminding the staff that tips increase during the holidays if service is smooth. Talk to them about asking guests if they’re done shopping or just taking a break, what they’re in the mood for, etc. so that the server can suggest items and better accommodate the table.

3)  Give the People What they Want

Overwhelmingly, Black Friday shoppers want deals and discounts. Just because you’re not in retail doesn’t mean you can’t have your own Black Friday discounts, like: Door busters – where the first 10 or 50 to arrive at your restaurant or all who arrive during a specific time period (to help boost revenues during your slower hours) can take advantage of a special offer.  Shoppers are also going to be tired, so specials on festive caffeinated beverages is a huge plus.

4)  Social Media Marketing

Many Black Friday shoppers will be keeping an eye out on social media for the best deals leading up to and throughout the day. If you already use social media to promote your restaurant, consider tweeting about your Black Friday specials or put up a post on Facebook late on Thanksgiving evening. Then let your followers know the next morning that you’re welcoming Black Friday shoppers to take a break and eat a good meal. Make sure to mention your hours so the shoppers with tight store-to-store schedules can plan accordingly.

Organization is essential to successful holiday service. Customers will be extra sensitive to mistakes during these busy time of the year. Make sure your POS system tracks every aspect of your business, including inventory management of must-have food items.